Thursday, 28 October 2010

Doctor Who : New series, new species part 30

Wow! The 30th post, that's some staying power! I guess the draw of new stuff will always have a strong hold on me. Sarah Jane Adventures is in full swing and has a few new aliens for us, though not many for this post as it makes use of it's own villains, The Veil in the second episode. It's great to see the series use it's own creations as a key feature rather than relying on main series monsters for a big draw - maybe the main show could learn from this - can we have a Dalek/Cybermen free series please!!!

Anyway, on with the new stuff...


I'm ambivalent about this one, the idea of a being from another dimension that can bring himself into our world via dreams is a bit far-fetched, but at the same time it is well established in Who lore, with other creatures such as 'Adam' in Torchwood who fed on memories. So the concept did work, but I found the character overall to be a bit over the top. The nightmare scenarios of the episode were well written and the idea as a whole worked, but the makeup and the voice made it seem like it was trying to herd to be scary without actually being scary.

Vishklar are a race of beings from another dimension. While they can create an image for themselves they are essentially incorporeal beings. They have the power to feed on dreams and one such individual was able to access the nightmares of Luke Smith, drawing power from his superhuman mind, he was able gain greater influence and control, conjuring up his own nightmare scenarios and preventing Luke from speaking his name until he gained enough power to appear in physical form. He was able to send more people to sleep until he was defeated and trapped by Luke and his friends who had conquered their fear of him.

And that's it for this post - there was also some 'Sentient Concrete' featured, but i can't find an image for it, and it was little more than a small grey plot device but good fun nonetheless. The following episode featured the return of the Veils and also the Men in Black featured in dreamland making a welcome appearance in the flesh...sort of!

More soon!

Monday, 25 October 2010

SF at the Movies - October '10

Keeping this respectably in-date for once, let's have a look at what's available this month.

Released 4/10/10

This film, featuring a whole host of cameo stars, tells the story of a group of friends who decide to see Episode 1 before anyone else, by breaking into Skywalker Ranch and stealing an advance copy! They do this because their friend is sick and may not live to see the official release. I've already seen this out on DVD so I guess it's a limited release, but worht picking up on disk if you can.

And that looks like it apart from an animated movie called 'Mars' which I couldn't find a trailer for - there looks like there'll be a few big hitter coming our way next month so keep your eyes open folks

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Blogga's Halo Reach Diary - 21/10/10

Well, in an attempt to keep vaguely up to date I've decided that, as well as my reviews of old video games, I should at least attempt something current and so I'm going to blog my progress through Halo Reach - letting you know where I'm up to campaign-wise and looking at armour choices etc.

Know this post will contain SPOILERS for any who are behind me in the campaign, and a warning not to spoil anything for those ahead of me. I thought of this post a while back and obviously there's a lot to discuss so for brevity's sake I will discuss the mission 'Long Night of Solace' though I am a little further in campaign.

Some of you may be wondering how I haven't finished the game yet, well life has a way of prioritising your time over video games and I don't see that as a bad thing - but there's also another reason - Challenges!!

There are daily and Weekly Challenges on Reach, which earn you credits that you use to rank up and buy new armour components for your character. The challenges often involve killing enemies in Firefight, which allows me to play 'Gruntpocalypse' a hilarious game type, involving waves and waves of Grunts and the obligotary 'birthday party' setting turned on.


This was the armour set I used for the mission. My colours are brown and green, in keeping with a 'camo' effect. I have taken to choosing armour to fit the mission I'm about to take. As the mission takes place in space I tried to get the most appropriate gear for the job. I'm not high rank enough for EVA which would make most sense, but I got an 'Air Assault' helmet with EVA shoulders with the rest being default gear. Before this I stuck with my pre-order bonus 'Recon' helmet and 'Officer' rank Elite armour from the Limited Edition.

New Stuff

You know how much I love new stuff in Franchise games so I'll discuss a few new things that pop up in this game, including my favourite - Spaceships!!

Covenant Corvette

These ships are a common sight in Reach. One appears early on, attacking Sword Base until it is repelled and taken out by a MAC strike. In the space mission, however, you get to board on of these beasts, which features a frantic battle in Zero-G. I love the design, with 'gaps' in the Hull, presumably to make it a harder target. I was hoping for new ships and vehicles and Reach hasn't disappointed.


Continuing the Halo tradition these starfighters are named after a sword-type. It was amazing to finally be in space and the Sabre was well equipped to be there with it's elegant maneuvers leading to crashes in my inexperienced hands and then quickly outmaneuvering the enemy. It was great also to go up against Covenant Seraphs, before only glimpsed in cutscenes.

There's more, but I'll leave it for now, as most things show up again in campaign later on - I'll link to Anchor 9 which features in the mission and leave it at that.


So I've completed the mission which involves taking out a Covenant Supercarrier (I hadn't realised how big those things are until I checked, they dwarf even the normal Assault Carriers which themselves are pretty huge. The Spartans plan to take it out by rigging a Slipspace drive to go off prematurely, planting it on the ship and tearing it a part in the ensuing accident. They plan to accomplish this by boarding a Covenant Corvette and piloting it into the carrier.

The Spartans reach the launch site for the Sabre programme and Noble 6 and Jorge go into orbit to hook up with the UNSC Savannah which is donating it's Slipspace drive to the mission. While there they combat Seraphs and space banshees, which was great fun and very challenging when you forget that the Sabre is equipped with missiles!!

It was a brilliant opportunity to get into some deep combat aboard a covenant vessel and even get to the bridge. I failed my usual side objective of 'keep all the NPC soldiers alive' but as it happens it wouldn't have helped. The bomb has to be set off manually and the only way off the ship is to jump.

This was a great emotional moment as, tumbling into orbit, you witness Jorge's sacrifice succeed and the carrier obliterated. But as you fall more your heart sinks as another Covenant fleet arrives.

It was an incredible moment, and I honoured Jorge's sacrifice - I bought his voice for Firefight, something else you can do with your hard earned credits!

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Star Wars: Knight Errant

This is just a quick heads-up to let you know that a new Star Wars comic book series is hitting shelves this week. Knight Errant features an all-new hero, Kerra Holt (pictured above) in an unexplored era.

The New Sith Wars means a fair bit to Star Wars fans who follow the EU, but not a lot to many others. You may be familiar with the Valley of the Jedi from the Kyle Katarn games and Darth Bane from Jedi vs Sith and the recent novel trilogy. Both these key facets of Star Wars history (Darth Bane is infamous for creating the 'rule of two' a tradition that would last a millennium until the rise of Darth Vader) have their place in the closing days of this epic war.

Kerra's story is much earlier, before Bane was even born and this is terrotiory only referred to in sourcebooks and Essential Guides and never explored in a story. If the clues mentioned earlier don't mean anything to you, don't worry, this is epic Star Wars action with all-new characters and you can jump in without worrying about missing the back-story.

I was very fortunate to have an advanced copy of issue#1 from Dark Horse from an opportunity that came up on their message boards and after reading it I can very readily recommend it to you. All you need to know is there are a lot of Sith at war with a lot of Jedi and from there you can enjoy what is going to be an exciting read as Kerra and her Jedi friends go on a mission deep into Sith territory where they not only have to face their enemy, but avoid getting caught up in the rivalry between Sith Lords.

This looks to be an exciting series for fanboys and newcomers alike.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Sarah Jane Adventures Series 4!

Just a quick note to say that the new series of Doctor Who spin-off 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' will be returning on Monday, with the former-who companion, teenage co-stars and even a certain robotic dog making appearances the kids spin-off has been a big hit with kids and even us adult Doctor Who fans who need a fix in between the main series.

I won't say much more, just leave you with this trailer, which highlights a few new species - you know what that means!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Star Wars Legacy: Extremes (48-50)

The final arc of Legacy has finished so this may be the final time I bother you with Star Wars Legacy content... no, don't count on it!! Still it is very strange not to have my months counted out by looking forward to the next shipment of Legacy at my Local Comic shop. Right let's get right to it, this might be the end, but there's a stack of new stuff.

Sith Updates

Darth Havok
Species: Iktotchi
Sex: Male
Position: Inquisitor
First Appearance: Legacy#48 (Extremes, part 1)

Eskhar Niin was once a revered Imperial Knight, responsible for the training of Antares Draco, the head of the Order. He deserted the order and in the confrontation that followed he slew Roan Fel's wife. Draco believed him dead, but he had in fact joined the Sith. He took Marasiah Fel into his custody, revealing his identity and tortured her for information.

While he's the only named 'Darth' there were a few other significant Sith noted

Bokar and Yuln were part of the Sith strike force on Agamar from the 'Monster' arc, they stayed behind to finish off any survivors, but were slain by Rasi Tuum and Azlyn Rae

This guy wasn't named, but he fought Cade to guard Vul Isen's lab on Daluuj, he refused to give Cade Isen's location and was defeated by him in battle.

This arc saw the ends of a great many Sith, including Vul Isen and Darth Azard, but also the return of Darth Krayt from the dead!!


Quite a busy one as the characters make a few treks across the Galaxy, but hopefully I've rendered it as clear as possible.

Issue Review

A lot to say for this one - some major changes. Wyyrlok is angry at the disappearance of Krayt's body and sends Nihl to investigate, blaming Darth Talon who has disappeared. Rasi Tuum and Azlyn Rae escape from Agamar, but are too late to rescue the Princess, who is taken to Coruscant, then whisked away to Korriban by Darth Havok, much to the annoyance of the Moffs. They return to Bastion and a rescue plan is put into operation.
Meanwhile Cade is on the hunt for Vul Isen, finding his lab on Daluuj and eliminating the Sith there, but failing to fin the man. Isen is at Da Soocha and releases his chemical on the world, destroying the Hutts who harbored Mon Calamari fugitives. This angers the Hutts, who summon Cade to Nal Hutta and hire him as their agent to exact vengance on Isen and the Sith. He heads to Utapau, where the Galactic Alliance have taken refuge and where Isen is planning to eliminate them.
Antares, masked as a Sith travels with his companions to Korriban to rescue Sia, who is being tortured by former Knight Darth Howl, they save her, but to protect her Antares stays behind and is finally killed by his former master after slaying dozens of Sith. Cade warns his crew of the plot to kill the Admiral and they manage to save him while Cade tracks down and stops Isen releasing the chemical, killing him and Darth Azard.
When Darth nihl finally tracks down Talon, he finds Krayt, alive and full of power. More than that he finds a path to power: Krayt has created an army of super-soldier, extremely powerful in the dark side, augmented with cybernetics and blindly loyal to him. They have created starfighters for these with the capability of taking on a capital ship on their own and he plans to unleash them to dominate the galaxy. He summons all Sith to him and Cade has a vision telling him he must face Krayt once more.

My Two Credits

A great arc, but as you might have guessed - not quite the end so it felt strange coming to the last issue with so much unresolved, but Dark Horse have announced that a new series 'War' is coming out to fully explore what these changes mean for the galaxy - and take a look at Darth Krayt as he gets ready to make War!

I don't want it to end, but I can't wait - more comics news soon.

Friday, 1 October 2010

SF at the Movies - September '10

Well it seems like I do nothing but movie posts on this blog and I did want to squeeze some stuff in first but as October is already upon us I think I'd better do this post while you've got a slight chance of seeing these September movies.

Released 6/9/10

One of the most renowned Sci-Fi classics of all time Metropolis tells of a future that, despite being made in the silent-movie era, still seems futuristic. With oppressive regimes ruling over a working class and performing bizarre experiments, everything changes when one young man leaves his life of luxury to visit the oppressed.

Resident Evil: Afterlife
Released 10/9/10

The fourth in this series adapting the story of the famous horror-shooter game series. Alice the lead in the series is still battling the Umbrella Corporation who's deadly virus has transformed thousands into grotesque undead monsters. Trying to rescue any survivors and fight through an infected city may be more than she can manage. This movie is also in 3D

And that's your lot - probably too late to catch both of those by now - but if you get the chance to see Metropolis I'd take it - it's your heritage people!!